What do pets have to do with office life?

February 13, 2016 08:02
A pet-friendly policy can lead to a happier work environment, says an ad agency. Photo: RTHK

Creative industries often demand unsteady and sometimes very long working hours, especially when there are big projects.

To alleviate the stress and boost staff morale, an advertising agency in Hong Kong is offering a unique benefit to its workforce -- allowing the employees to bring their pets along to the office.

The reason: people are generally happier when pets are around.

Not surprisingly, the initiative has been greeted with cheers by the staff.

On a recent RTHK program, some of the workers recounted how they have to put in crazy hours sometimes and what a big relief it is now to have the perk of having their pets around in the office.

"In my previous job, whenever there was a major presentation due, I used to leave the office only after midnight every day during the preceding week," said Mio Pang, who works as an assistant creative director at the firm.

"I thought about changing my career at that point, I even applied to become a flight attendant," she added.

Her colleague Carol Li said she once had to work nonstop for 30 hours.

The most important thing is to make sure the staff like and enjoy the job, a senior manager of the firm said, explaining the purpose behind the bring-pet-to-work campaign.

To ease the stress, the firm is also allowing more flexible work hours.

"People get inspired in different ways. A good idea might pop up in the mind after a three-hour long lunch, whereas you might get nowhere even if you stay glued to your desk for six hours," creative director Paul Ho pointed out.

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EJ Insight writer